Culross, Culross Abbey

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Canmore ID 48040
Site Number NS98NE 3
NGR NS 98884 86246
Council FIFE
Former Region FIFE
Former District DUNFERMLINE
Former County FIFE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Architectural Notes

Information transcribed from the NMRS Architecture Catalogue:
The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, contains among the 'Uncatalogued MSS of General Hutton', and numbered 99 and 100, vol.1, a plan of this Abbey and two rather poor engravings. The Plan is to the scale of 12 feet to an inch. The Abbey buildings are situated by the Firth of Forth, the the detached part of the County [Perthshire] to the South.

'Scottish Church Architecture' by J.S Coltart - 1 photograph (includes Conventual Buildings and Monuments)

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Archaeological Notes

NS98NE 3.00 98884 86246

NS98NE 3.01 NS 98727 86380 Monastic Outbuilding; Abbey House, West Lodge
NS98NE 3.02 NS 9886 8624 and NS 9887 8624 Cross-base and shafts
NS98NE 3.03 NS 9819 8677 Well
NS98NE 3.04 NS 98843 86235 Manse
NS98NE 3.05 centred on NS 9887 8627 Graveyard

For Culross Abbey House (NS 9894 8625) and associated buildings, see NS98NE 4.00.

(NS 9887 8622) Culross Abbey (NR) (Cistercian - AD 1217)
OS 6" map (1967).

13 January 1954

Notes The Cistercian monastery of Culross, a daughter house of Kinloss, was founded by Malcolm, Earl of Fife before 1217; it was dedicated to St Mary and St Serf. Parts of the nave remain and the present parish church has been erected over the monastic choir. Also extant are parts of the cellarium, and the foundations and piers of the undercrofts of the E range and frater. Only the S wall of the nave is of early 13th c date; the rest of the buildings date mostly from about 1300, and were again reconstructed in the reign of James IV (1488-1513). The abbey was secularised in 1589.
D E Easson 1957; S Cruden 1960; S Piggott and W D Simpson 1970; RCAHMS 1933, visited 1927; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1896; Visited by OS (JLD) 13 January 1954

Further details

July 2009 to December 2009

Notes NS 98884 86246 This collection of carved stone is stored in two locations (the abbey and Stirling) and was assessed during July–December 2009. Similarities in the moulding profile and decorations on a large column capital and a window beside the 13th-century chapter house doorway indicate that the column was originally part of this window. A group of vault ribs and keystones have related profiles and probably come from the lay brothers’ refectory where the in situ vaults are of a similar type. Finally, there are numerous stones, including window jambs and tracery, which indicate the existence of complex tracery designs that are no longer present in the abbey.
This and other inventories of carved stones at Historic Scotland’s properties in care are held by Historic Scotland’s Collections Unit. For further information please contact
Funder: Historic Scotland
Mary Márkus – Archetype

Further details

External Links

Scottish Church Heritage Research (SCHR)

Scottish Church Heritage Research (SCHR)

Books and References

Anon (1928a) 'The Bruce monument, Culross Abbey church' [sketch], Roy Incorporation Architects Scot Quart, 28 Winter
Page(s): 105

Anon (1928b) 'Culross abbey' [sketch], Roy Incorporation Architects Scot Quart, 28 Winter
Page(s): 110

Baird, J... [et al.] (198-?) Culross: a companion to the Royal Burgh, [S.l.]
Held at RCAHMS D.4.3.CUL.P

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Charity SC026749